This fantasy epic based on the Real time strategy game Warcraft series that precedes the record breaking Massively Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Game (MMORPG for short) World of Warcraft.
Directed by Duncan Jones whose previous movies include Sci Fi films such as Moon and Source Code this movie aims to break the curse that lies on video game movies.
I, by no means, am a die-hard Warcraft fan. With some experience with World of Warcraft, which takes place many years after the movie, it was plain to see the Duncan Jones and his production team really poured their heart and soul into keeping the design of even the smallest things painstakingly accurate to the game. One example of this being the bridge into Stormwind that many Alliance players might find familiar.
What might be an issue for some audiences is the very heavy use of CGI in the film making up entire characters. This may put off some viewers as it might seem like a cop out in terms of production design, but if you have any familiarity with the franchise it is based off, many aspects are picture perfect and borne of necessity to recreate the magical world of Azeroth.
In terms of the film’s plot, I felt as though at the start I should know more than what I was presented with, but eventually as the story played out the pieces started to fit together. I think this this could have been easily fixed with some sort of introduction to the world like something akin to Galadriel’s telling of the tale of The One Ring and Middle-Earth from Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring to help general audiences be engaged in this world.
With the sheer amount of lore and plot introduced in this film, I found that there wasn’t much depth to the characters besides the two main protagonists. The cast’s performance was good, despite this lack of depth, with the only outstanding performance being from Travis Fimmel’s Anduin Lothar who seems very much like Ragnar Lothbrook Fimmel’s character from the History Channel’s Vikings TV show. I felt that if the story slowed down in parts this could have given an opportunity to flesh out some of their characters and inject more of Fimmel’s sarcastic charm.
In summary, I feel that if you enjoy the fantasy genre in some capacity and are a fan of the games, this is a worthy adaption to the Warcraft franchise and a solid movie on its own. Despite this, I feel that this movie might be too heavy on the fantasy lore and general audiences might become overwhelmed by the sheer number of unpronounceable character names and locations.
Whilst Warcraft is an entertaining and exciting watch, it doesn’t have the general appeal to be that blockbuster that ends the plight of video game movies. We won’t find out, for sure, until Warcraft releases in the US and other parts of the world to truly get an accurate gauge on its reception.
Hopefully, the Assassin’s Creed film starring Michael Fassbender will remain true to the source material while also having a wider audience draw.